Peter T. Tarpgaard, PhD

Peter Tar

Title: Naval Architect (Retired)
Location: Middletown, Rhode Island

Peter T. Tarpgaard, a Retired Naval Architect, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in naval architecture.

With many years of professional experience, Dr. Tarpgaard is widely regarded as an expert in naval architecture. He was drawn to the field because this facet of engineering covers a broad spectrum of activities. A ship is like a small city, where all of the engineering entities collaborate for maximum efficiency, and a warship compounds that complexity because it must also bring together various parts of a fully functional war-fighting environment. Dr. Tarpgaard was introduced to it while serving in the U.S. Navy, and he graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in 1959.

Dr. Tarpgaard studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, obtaining a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1968. He obtained his first position in the field as a naval engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that same year. He continued his studies, earning a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, which further propelled him up the professional ladder. From 1970 to 1973, he was a special project assistant at the Office Chief of Naval Development, and from 1973 to 1976, he was professional staff at the United States Arms Control & Disarmament Agency. He then took positions as a design supervisor of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the principal analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, a manager of submarine programs at Draper Laboratories, a manager at Noesis Inc., and a professor at the United States Naval War College.

A leading voice in the field, Dr. Tarpgaard joined prominent organizations such as the Society for Naval Architects & Marine Engineers, the United States Naval Institute, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management. He was also a consultant to the Congressional Office of Technical Assessment, a sponsor of international students at Naval War College, and a contributor of articles to industry journals.

Dr. Tarpgaard has had many highlights throughout his career. He was proud to be an initiator of research and development activities while he was on active duty in the Navy, as well as of innovations in ship and weapons design. He is gratified that his advancements continue to be used more than 40 years after he helped initiate them.

Dr. Tarpgaard also served on the United States delegation in Geneva to negotiate the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union and he served as a staffer for Congress as the naval analyst at the congressional budget office. The final and most satisfying part of his career, however, is when he was able to pass his knowledge on to students at the United States Naval War College. If he could offer some advice to the younger generations now, it would be to never presume to know everything; there is always more to be learned and understood, especially when addressing a problem. He attributes his success to his mentor, RADM Thomas Davies, and to always doing his best with the resources available.

For more:

Lifetime Achievement


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